Behind the Candidate: Kelly Armstrong

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DICKINSON, N.D. Kelly Armstrong and Mac Schneider will debate the issues facing North Dakota on Thursday night, but we wanted to get a behind the scenes look at the person behind each candidate.

For the Dickinson native Armstrong, it's all about love.

He met the love of his life, Kjersti, while going to law school at the University of North Dakota. He loves baseball as a player- albeit by his own admission not a very good one- and a coach. He loves his two kids, Anna and Eli. Usually what you see is what you get with Armstrong, but even with him, there's more than what you first see.

It's hard to lose track of Kelly Armstrong, but when it happens, he's probably off with one of his two loves: family or baseball.

"My daughter had her first year of travel softball and I didn't miss a game all summer because her tournaments are across North Dakota and we just organized campaign events around that. They love going to the parades and helping out,” said Kelly.

But 10-year-old Anna says dad has a secret third love.

"A lot of junk food. It's true though because we're always in a rush so we never have time to sit down at restaurants,” said Anna.

"He doesn't like anything in between. He either wants to have a really nice meal or he wants to have junk food,” said Kelly’s wife Kjersti.

Kjersti and Kelly met when she was an exchange student from Norway at UND. And that's when she broke her promise.

"I promised my mother that I would not meet anyone cause she didn't want me to leave Norway. But it happens when you least expect it I guess,” said Kjersti.

"That's still the best accomplishment of my life. Through a lot of lucky circumstances, everything that I've gotten or been blessed with in my life stemmed from there,” said Kelly.

The Armstrong’s two kids, Anna and Eli, try and join in on the campaigning.

"Some of the time I'm with him, some of the time I'm not and the time I'm not I miss him,” said Eli.

Despite his best efforts, campaigning for U.S House has taken something from him.

"I think the hardest part was not coaching the kids this year. He doesn't get emotional very often but he did about that,” said Kjersti.

But from now until the election, Kelly will keep making his pitch to North Dakota, and savoring each moment he has with his two favorite players. We also spent the day with Democratic candidate Mac Schneider. You can see his story Wednesday.